HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Confidentiality of genetic databases questioned by Stanford researchers

STANFORD, Calif. - In their exuberance over cracking the genetic code, scientists have paid too little attention to privacy issues, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Their findings, published in the July 9 issue of Science, suggest that traditional means of ensuring confidentiality do not apply to genetic data and that additional safeguards are needed to protect patients from potential abuses.

"I am surprised that no one has looked at this problem before and asked, 'Can we really release genome-wide information about individuals to the public,'" said Zhen Lin, a genetics graduate student who led the study. "Nobody did a careful calculation to find whether 'anonymous' patients could be identified from this data."

Many hope that in the future, a patient's genetic information will provide early warning of a predisposition to certain diseases or predict how the patient will respond to certain drugs. The relationship between DNA and such traits is usually quite subtle, however, and decoding it may require compiling genetic and medical information from many patients. To this end, the National Institutes of Health is encouraging the researchers it funds to put genetic sequence and trait information in shared online databases.

A 1996 federal law that governs medical privacy requires that research data be stripped of identifying information such as names, addresses and even the last three digits of a patient's ZIP code before it can be shared. But the law is essentially silent on the issue of DNA, and most researchers have interpreted this to mean that sharing sequence data linked to information from a patient's medical history is safe.

"Traditionally people believe that if there is no identifier attached, then the sample is anonymous," Lin said. "We found that's really not true because the DNA code itself is an identifier." To demonstrate this, the researchers looked at specific sites in DNA that commo
'"/>

Contact: Amy Adams
amyadams@stanford.edu
650-723-3900
Stanford University Medical Center
8-Jul-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
2. Rare childhood genetic syndrome identified
3. New research shows plants can shuffle and paste gene pieces to generate genetic diversity
4. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
5. Chemical genetics identifies SARS inhibitors
6. 22nd amino acid synthesized and added to genetic code of e. coli bacteria
7. The impact of genetic variations on the treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis
8. Adaptive changes in the genome may provide insight into the genetics of complex disease
9. New genetic hypothesis for the cause of autism
10. Fossils reveal direct link between global warming and genetic diversity in wildlife
11. A genetic disorder yields insight into genes and cognition

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/4/2019)... ... December 03, 2019 , ... ... technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer ... Ethicann Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Ethicann”), a Calgary-based pharmaceutical company using botanically sourced cannabinoid ...
(Date:11/27/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2019 , ... Though the ... for the more than 55 million travelers expected to hit the roads and the ... application worth it’s weight in truffle oil will offer a simple design, mouth-watering pictures ...
(Date:11/22/2019)... N.Y. (PRWEB) , ... November 21, 2019 , ... ... developed at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center have announced a major step forward ... Michael Ciesielski, PhD, have announced that the company, spun off from Roswell Park ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/18/2019)... , ... December 17, 2019 , ... ... its 31st FDA clearance for reprocessing Electrophysiology (EP) devices since the company’s inception ... Stryker Sustainability Solutions and SterilMed (a Johnson & Johnson company) have received 2 ...
(Date:12/18/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Tune in to CNBC on Saturday, December 28th at 11:00aET ... for more information on this program. , With a look at Avatar Partners ... system to increase the efficiency, safety and effectiveness of equipment, systems, and processes for ...
(Date:12/6/2019)... ... December 06, 2019 , ... ... has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its latest CAPERE® Thrombectomy System for ... suggests the CAPERE® offers great benefits for first-in-line treatment for nonsurgical removal ...
(Date:12/4/2019)... ... December 03, 2019 , ... Absolute Antibody ... a partnership with the Recombinant Antibody Network (RAN), a consortium of three expert ... (UCSF) with a common goal to generate recombinant antibodies at a proteome-wide scale. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: